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District 60 Florida House

Two rookie politicians are seeking this seat, vacated when the incumbent was ousted by term limits.

By AMY HERDY

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 2000


Two political newcomers are vying to represent state House District 60.

Temple Terrace surgeon Ed Homan, a Republican, won the September primary and faces Democrat Sara Romeo, a businesswoman.

State Rep. Victor Crist, R-Tampa Palms, who has occupied the seat for the past eight years, was forced out by term limits and is running for the state Senate.

Homan said his top priority would be education, followed by health care. Homan believes a lack of teachers could be addressed by higher pay and education assistance programs, and that more reading teachers are needed for elementary grades.

Regarding health care, he said HMO plans often unfairly dictate how a patient should be treated and that he would work to cut the "red tape" of the referral process.

Homan said he did not think his medical practice would interfere with the responsibilities of a House seat. He has a solo practice but shares on-call duties with other doctors who have volunteered to help with his schedule should he be elected.

Romeo said she would focus on such issues as education, long-term care of the elderly and growth management.

Romeo, executive director of Artists Unlimited, said Floridians need to be promoting and funding technical schools for those students who do not plan to go to college.

Classroom sizes need to be decreased, she said, and teachers paid better.

Romeo said senior care needs to be addressed immediately. One solution, she said, would be for the state to provide more money for long-term care, although she didn't say specifically how.

THE JOB

State House District 60 includes Temple Terrace, Tampa Palms, Lutz, the University of South Florida area, Mango, Seffner and Thonotosassa. A map of Florida House districts appears elsewhere in this edition. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $27,900 annually.

REPUBLICAN

ED HOMAN, 57, was born in Oklahoma and received his medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans. He served as a physician in the U.S. Navy at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 1970 to 1972. A resident of Tampa for more than 20 years, Homan has been practicing orthopedic surgery at University Community Hospital since 1975 and was named chief of orthopedics from 1980-96 and chief of staff from 1996-97. Homan also has served on the voluntary faculty at USF's medical school since 1976 as an assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery. He has been married to Dr. Carol Ann Hodges since 1992. They have five grown children. ASSETS: home, cars, bank accounts. LIABILITIES: mortgage, credit cards. SOURCE OF INCOME: medical practice.

DEMOCRAT

SARA ROMEO, 51, was born in Galveston, Texas, and has lived in Tampa since she was 2. She attended Brandon High School and the University of South Florida, where she majored in business. She was president of the Egypt Lake Elementary PTA from 1990-92. In 1995, Romeo was appointed to the Architectural Review Board, where she served until this year. She was president of the Ybor Entertainment & Arts Association from 1992-95 and received the Sam D. Leto award in 1998 for promoting and preserving Latin culture and heritage. Romeo and her husband, Walter, managed "Romeo's Stylish Furniture" in Ybor City together until 1999, when she left to become executive director of Artists Unlimited. Romeo has been a member of the board of directors of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce since 1992, and served as chairwoman of the board from 1998-99. Married for 29 years, she has three children. ASSETS: home, car, bank accounts. LIABILITIES: mortgage, credit card. SOURCE OF INCOME: executive director of Artists Unlimited, a non-profit group that focuses on educating the community through the arts.

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